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Hella Pick, journalist

Hella Pick, veteran journalist, is interviewed by Lauren Laverne

As one of the Guardian’s first female foreign correspondents, Hella Pick reported on events that shaped the world in the second half of the 20th century, from Martin Luther King's civil rights activism to Watergate, the Gdansk shipyard strikes to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Born in Vienna in 1929, she was raised by her mother who, in March 1939, put her on a Kindertransport train to Britain to escape the Nazis. Her mother was able to follow her to England a few months later and Hella spent her formative years in the Lake District. After reading Politics at London School of Economics, she worked as commercial editor of a London-based weekly publication called West Africa. After she left, she offered her services to The Guardian – and spent the next 35 years or so with the paper.

While UN correspondent, she worked alongside Alistair Cooke in New York and subsequently held posts as European Integration correspondent, Washington correspondent, Eastern Europe correspondent, and diplomatic editor before retiring in the mid-1990s. Since leaving The Guardian, she has nurtured a new career as a writer, publishing a biography of Simon Wiesenthal and a book about Austria’s post-war history.

BOOK: Scorn by Matthew Parris
LUXURY: Recliner armchair
FAVOURITE TRACK: Mozart's Marriage of Figaro

Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Cathy Drysdale

Available now

40 minutes

Music Played


    Quintet for piano and strings in A, 'The Trout': 5th movement: allegro giusto

    Performer: Daniel Barenboim. Performer: Itzhak Perlman. Performer: Pinchas Zukerman. Performer: Jacqueline du Pré. Performer: Zubin Mehta.
    • Franz Peter Schubert: The Trout.
  • Maurice Ravel

    Melodie Hebraique: Kaddish

    Singer: Nina Koshetz.
  • Keita Fodeba African Ensemble


  • Paul Hörbiger


  • The Song of the Birds

    • Pablo Casals Recital.
    • Sony.
    • MPK 46724.
    • 11.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Sonata No.8 in C Minor Op 13 Pathetique - Adagio Cantabile

    Performer: Daniel Barenboim.
  • Franz Schubert

    Gute Nacht

    Performer: Charles Spencer. Singer: Thomas Quasthoff.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Gente,gente, all'armi

    Performer: Bryn Terfel. Choir: Monteverdi Choir. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Ensemble: English Baroque Soloists.


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